Bulldozers flatten Silver Lake’s Coffee Table cafe

Former Coffee Table building looking east.

Bulldozers made quick work of the former Coffee Table, the Silver Lake cafe that closed last year after a developer revived plans to build a condominium project on the property. A few chunks of the Rowena Avenue’s bright blue and yellow walls could be seen amid the piles of debris.  The property where the Coffee Table and several other buildings once stood is now owned by the 15 Group, a Miami-based developer that last year approached residents with a proposal to build 45 condos instead of 64 units proposed under a previous land owner.  However, the 15 Group as of late last year had not made a final decision about the size of the project.  The Eastsider has contacted the 15 Group for an update on the project.


  1. yay!!!!!! keep destroying and changing the reason everyone lived there

  2. I hope is not the same company that is developing the nasty compound by the EP lake, yikes

    • Nope. Echo Park Lake’s white monster is financed by the church across the street from it. The potential new developments in Montecito Heights near the radio tower are tied to the church as well.

      • the white monster, as you refer to it is, financed by the church across the street. as they own most of EP. its a retirement home. bring the old closer to the church. all they have to do is walk across the street and donate. yeah!

  3. Pack ’em in tight.

  4. Oh yes, just what we need–more condos instead of a true local gem. How about adding a Gap and a Panda Express and we’ll call it Encino.

  5. I don’t get this. I don’t live in the area, so this is coming from someone who just LIKES the area. How does silverlake possibly need another condo-project. This is gross.

    • Silver Lake is an expensive place to live. Hopefully when there’s more housing that will at least temporarily ease the upward pressure on everyone’s rents!

  6. We are under attack!

  7. That placed sucked… face it or not, the place/hood has been gentrified for a long time. The hipsters moved out along time ago…

  8. So sad. I pretty much raised my kids there. I miss O, Oscar and everything bagels.

  9. I think there are been more properties bulldozered this year already than any past year. Progress???!

  10. I will have a soy la… Nevermind.

  11. To All Residents Within Couple Blocks of This Site:
    (As well as all residents near the Glendale/Waverly corner where a condo complex is going up there too)

    If you start getting any kind of respiratory issues, from sore throats to colds to bronchial infections to asthma-like issues, DO NOT just assume it’s because it’s winter, or upcoming pollen season. MOST construction sites in LA do not follow Air Quality mitigation laws & ordinances, which are legally required to control dust/dirt/Particulate Matter. Breathing this — which becomes airborne from these work sites (from ground excavations and construction sites) — is hazardous to your health. That’s why there are State Laws to regulate this at construction sites.

    What is “Particulate Matter”? Look it up on the California EPA’s website. Federal and State Laws regulate standards for this, because breathing elevated levels is extremely hazardous. Just ask any of the 28 residents that have gotten chronic illnesses from DWP’s pipeline project along Glendale Blvd. & Rokeby Street. (Look up the “DWP pipeline” story on the Los Feliz Ledger’s website: http://www.LosFelizLedger.com )

    If you’re concerned, you need to take action. That means, garnering support from residents around these sites and forcing the contractor to actually follow laws, such at AQMD’s Rule 403. (Don’t let that acronym and number scare you — it’s one of the major laws regulating Air Quality in this State. You can find the text to Rule 403 here: http://www.aqmd.gov/rules/reg/reg04/r403.pdf

    Many of the important measures in this law require the contractor to keep the site wet down. When excavating, when backfilling, when moving dirt, etc. This is how to keep the dust/dirt/Particulate Matter from become airborne and then floating around the neighborhood all day/night.

    Bottom line? You cannot rely on the Contractor to follow the laws, you cannot count on the City’s Building & Safety Dept. to follow the laws, you cannot count on any of our politicians to make any of them follow the laws. You must do it, or it won’t happen. (And you can do it, with community support.) There are a couple people doing this now, with the condo complex on the corner of Waverly/Glendale; if you live around there, contact them. One of them is mentioned in the Los Feliz Ledger story. Good luck.

    • Not to strike fear in the hearts of downwind residents, but I’d be more concerned with whether or not proper interior demo was conducted in these buildings. Construction dates were circa the 20’s and 40’s. There’s a decent chance asbestos was present in some manner in those buildings (VFT mastic, ceiling tiles, piping wrap) – unless it was handled properly in a remodel or prior to the demo. Lead paint was probably present on the buildings due to age and without the use of water to reduce airborne particulates, you’ve got that going for you as well.

  12. this breaks my heart. i spent many an afternoon there, then when my son was born we spent many an afternoon. it was a magical place sitting under the tree sipping my latte playing with my son and eating yummy good food. life it is a changing. i don’t like this one to much though.

  13. Thank Mr. Garcetti. The king of density. He has ruined our neighborhood , please let’s not let him ruin the whole city

  14. Thank you, Florida!

  15. Just a suggestion here, but the next time you find a pleasant neighborhood with good ambiance, KEEP IT TO YOURSELVES. The bulldozers only go where the posers decide they want to live.

  16. Where is this Palestine?

  17. Now I know the reason for my current bronchitis. I live one block away. Who do I contact?

    • I’m looking into it. Will let you know what I find out.

    • Your Councilmember’s office, for one. (Although they won’t really do much. Unless you have enough residents complaining, AND start getting press interested in improper procedures being followed.)

      • I contacted AQMD and asked that they send an inspector out to check. The inspector called me after she went to tell me that the site is adhering to regulations by watering down the site before and after each day’s work. Hopefully having an inspector sent out will let them know we’re paying attention.

  18. I can’t be certain from the picture but it looks like the old Blackburn Lodge a couple properties east from the Coffee Table got demo’d too. I was hoping that place’s long-defunct neon sign might be kept and relit. Now I just hope it was spared becoming part of the rubble.

    • tempting to go sort through the wreckage for remnants of that sign!

      I never liked Coffee Table (at least the one in ER) that much, and don’t live in Silver Lake, but appreciated this building and wish they had chosen to keep it and build onto it rather than flatten and start new.

      Let’s hope that sign got saved.

    • Yes, it’s all gone, including the Blackburn, but I’m pretty sure the sign was removed some time ago – hopefully to good home.

  19. Construction=traffic calming

  20. I spent so many happy hours at the Coffee Table with my signif-other, Tom. We’d linger over veggie soup or turkey burgers. The staff didn’t mind if people just hung out. I’m not saying the food was so great it will be missed (the way I’d feel about Blair’s), but the vibe was really nice. Bye, bye, Coffee Table. Hello, more congestion!

  21. I despise chain anything and understand all the love for Coffee Table. That being said, the place was pretty filthy, I hated how my arms stuck to the tables…and the building was rundown. I think that’s my biggest ongoing question about SL as a long time resident. Does it have to be rundown to be considered worthy of the neighborhood?

    I would love to see a 21st century Coffee Table in this new building…with clean tables. They should get ROFR and a discounted lease.

  22. 1/Sad. My hometown and familiar neighborhoods get chipped away pc b pc prop by prop. There is no wonder why traffic has become so bad 24/7, top of bad traffic tht was always part of LA living. Cept in the older day traffic would die down by a certain hour. Lighter on wkends, free flowing on holidays.

    1a/whr single fams and sm businesses lived there are now big box condos. W/residents with multiple vehicles. From a fam of, say, five with one or two vehicles to condo with 48 residents. No math needed. Pass over 405 anytime, any day any hour, bumper-to-bumper. 101 used to a lightly used freeway.

    2/More coming. Compared to other major cities LA has tons of space to build. Hard to say but vintage bldgs will go, trees too as we’ve seen lately. Amazed this has occurred during a bad recession. And a new NFL stadium next to Live? Discover the wonders of Broadway, Fig and Grand today.

    3/We all want and need economy to improve. We need jobs. If working we need security. We all want clean streets, safety and a healthy LA. We want vintage and character, I want my hometown to save what’s left of the old. Of course.

    3a/The cost?

  23. I’m confused, is everbody glad or sad that a building that likely had lead paint and asbestos was bull dozed? While the use was cool and less density with more trees is nice, let’s not over romanticize what was actually there building wise.

    I know the developer said at one of the neighborhood meetings the coffee table was still an option for the retail space once they build it. I don’t know if it’s wishful thinking, but those who like really expensive sandwiches are welcome to hope they were telling the truth. I know everbody here hates change but land rights are a nice example of the American way and development is an important part of the economy.

  24. For TR: my kid goes to school right near there, so I put in a call to the South Coast Air Quality District. They’re going to send an inspector out to check on the site and make sure they’re containing the dust. I’m supposed to get a call back in a couple days from the inspector. I’ll post here to tell you what they say.

    • April:
      AQMD is a joke. Seriously. A joke. I already have a “horror story” about their incompetence on Glendale/Rokeby and the DWP issues. Once they visit, if they do, they’ll say “everything is fine” re: the construction. There’ll be no citations, no write-ups, nada. They apparently are a toothless wonder, with those working in this behemoth agency happy to have well-paying jobs where they don’t have to really DO anything. Contact me at the following email if you need more info: producer00@gmail.com

  25. This is going to be such a painful process. My house is in that top picture and I had no idea this was happening until the backhoes started bashing the buildings down at 7am on the 21st. Between the noise and the way my house now vibrates, it looks like a move is in my very near future…

  26. Noo!! Can’t believe they tore this place down!

  27. A two year project… The beeping of the dozer is like Chinese torture…. I jump in my clothes and rush out of my home office as soon as I open my eyes. No office? For how long? “15” sucks, they pretended that they’ll keep a unit for a coffee table or something sweet for the hood but now only offer a $600,000 price tag, not a lease. The sheep’s coat fell off fast.

    • Safety beeps of the machines

      Depending upon the distance of that beeping to your property line (and to you), and depending upon the decibel level, you may be able to do something about this.

      LAMC 112.05 does NOT permit noise levels to exceed 75 decibels (“dB”) at a distance of 50 feet. If the contractor violates this, they must provide sound mitigation. The good news? The contractor is a private contractor since this isn’t a city project, so you can likely get action taken, if they’re in violation. (But not from the LAPD, they don’t give a sh*t about noise from construction sites. Sad, but true. Their so-called “Noise Enforcement Team” is a big joke.) If it was a City project (like the massive DWP pipeline), they’d avoid doing anything and give everyone the runaround till they finish.

      How to determine if this contractor is in violation? Get a decibel level meter (they’re cheap, easy to get, $25 at Amazon.com), and start measuring. When construction crew isn’t there, you can easily measure the distance from where their machines operate and your doors/windows. Measure out 50 feet. Then when they’re working, you hold the meter and check noise levels. If over 75 dBs, just film it with your phone camera with your free hand. (Or get one of your neighbors to film the meter’s readout screen while you record the noise levels.)

      The backup safety beeps are very annoying. For one, they go right through hearing protection and ear plugs (all hearing protection, plugs, etc. manufactured for the U.S. is mandated to allow the frequency of this safety signal through — which is why you’ll still hear it when using ear plugs). Secondly, this signal can be quite loud on some dozers, forklift loaders, etc. On one loader over here at the DWP pipeline site, the backup signal registers 104 dBs at our property line. That’s 19 dB’s above what can cause hearing damage, and 29 dB’s over the legal limit. I’m not kidding. It’s been a major problem for residents over here.

      Anyway, everyone around the Coffee Table site, if the noise is interfering with your living there, and/or working there if you work from home, you need to check noise levels and if the contractor is exceeding Los Angeles laws, you need to take action to get them to mitigate. Also, since that project went through the Silverlake Neighborhood Council’s “Urban Design” committee for approval, you actually may have recourse by interfacing with that committee, if the contractor stonewalls.


  28. Terrible. Between this and the puke green polka dots at the Sunset Triangle, Silver Lake has taken two major steps this week toward decreasing the allure of the neighborhood.

  29. we live in the neighborhood and we hated this place. Glad its gone.

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